NFL to return to Mexico in 2019 despite stadium fumble

League's relationship with Mexico traced to 1968

Poor field conditions forced the NFL to scuttle a planned game in Mexico City. Photo: Agencies
Poor field conditions forced the NFL to scuttle a planned game in Mexico City. Photo: Agencies

The NFL’s decision to move a Chiefs-Rams game from Mexico City to Los Angeles apparently has not soured the league’s relationship with Mexico.

The NFL will return to Mexico City in 2019, an announcement after Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday to hash out the details.

When the NFL originally decided to play games in Mexico City, the league signed a three-year deal in 2016 that called for a game to be played at Azteca Stadium in 2016, 2017 and 2018. With the 2018 game being moved to L.A., the game in 2019 will now become the final game of that three-year deal.

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The league also has another three-year deal in place that calls for games to be played at Azteca Stadium in 2019, 2020 and 2021. One thing that’s not clear is if Monday’s announcement will have any impact on that deal. The NFL could push that agreement forward one year (2020-22) or the league could simply cut the deal down to two games (2020-21).

The NFL has played three games in Mexico City with the Cardinals and 49ers playing in 2005, the Texans and Raiders playing in 2016 and the Raiders playing a second game in 2017 against the Patriots.

The Chiefs-Rams game had to be relocated due to the abysmal field conditions at Azteca Stadium. The field at the stadium hosted Shakira concert in October, and is home to two Mexican soccer clubs.

Playing in the Mexican capital city is an idea that goes back to 1968, when Philly was to play Detroit. That game was canceled, however, and the NFL didn’t get back to Mexico City for another 10 years. when the Eagles played against the Saints.

Source: CBS Sports

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